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Pirates’ DVD a bloody good time

Mark Bemenderfer | Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Pirates have always gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to the silver screen. Beyond such classics as Peter Pan, the spin-off Hook and Treasure Island, pirates never really made their way into many decent movies. Sure, there was Cutthroat Island, and The Goonies, but these only total five that easily come to mind. Oh yeah, and one more – the truly excellent Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.Pirates is the latest foray into the realm of pirates, and by now most people have already seen the movie or at least heard of it. If you happen to have either been living in outer space, under a rock or in Carroll Hall, drop this article now and find a copy of the movie. Buy, borrow, rent or plunder a copy somehow, but find one and watch it. You’ll be glad that you did.But not because of the plot or the well-scripted action. In fact, the plot itself is kind of average, as is the action. No, the real reason to see the movie is Johnny Depp and the character he plays, Captain Jack Sparrow. The former Tim Burton staple goes well beyond anything he has done before to create a completely unique, interesting character. Depp, known for his quirky characters, has created a character in this movie that will probably become his most recognizable. He has done a number of movies over the years as any search on the Internet will reveal, but it wasn’t until fairly recently that he became a blockbuster star. That’s not to say that he hasn’t been in some quality movies, it’s just that Pirates was probably the most mainstream he has been in for some time, if ever. Also look for his name to be mentioned in the upcoming Oscars for his role in Pirates.Beyond Captain Jack Sparrow, the DVD in which you’ll find the movie is of the utmost quality. Packaged as one of Disney’s collector’s sets, the video and sound are of superior quality. The black tones are dark as they should be, with no washing of the colors. The special effects look good, as there is only a slightly obvious distortion when computer generated images are used. There is a problem with the DVD though; it comes on a dual layered DVD, which can give some DVD players a hard time, such as the first generation X-Box’s.The movie comes with a second DVD with a reported ten hours plus of viewing material. The ten hours consists of various commentaries, behind-the-scene explanations, deleted scenes and a blooper reel – basically all the things you would expect from a Disney Collector’s Edition DVD. One of the commentaries features Captain Sparrow himself, so fans of Depp may want to check it out to hear his insights. Fans of the theme park ride in Disneyland are also in for a treat, as there is a “Disneyland Pirates Virtual Reality Viewer,” as well as a featurette called “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” which provides a history of the Disneyland attraction.Pirates is one of those rare movies that appeal to almost everyone, and therefore almost everyone has seen it. If you’re one of the unlucky few who haven’t, it’s time you did.